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No Merry Christmas for Shaky FC

Radcliffe Borough 1 FC United 1

FC thought they’d snatched the three points when debutant James Holden tapped in a rebounded Chris Baguley strike on 93 minutes, but the linesman’s flag left the reds dejected at a lacklustre1-1 draw against bottom club Radcliffe.

Boxing Day is a daftly named day - it’s the day after Christmas and you’re already fed up with turkey butties, but yer mam is still persevering with turkey curry. And there’s no boxing. As such.

So, many moons ago someone decided that association football should be played on this day to release the tedium.

We used to play the scousers regularly and it became an occasion to look forward to. The only away victory of 1986-87? Liverpool away on the day of boxing. Big Norm’s winner made Boxing Day better than Christmas Day.
This year we went to Radcliffe, and those who shunned the match to sit at home stuffing themselves with me mam’s turkey curry or went the Traffic Centre for the sales cos their other halves told them too, got lucky. Part time"¦
Cos this 1-1 draw was like stale stuffing . It was like the dregs of the apple sauce, when it’s gone all crusty round the edges. In short, it was Christmas bobbins.

FC started like they’d stepped out the pub during the afternoon shut down in the old days and wondered on to Stainton Park for a kick about with the locals. While wearing them paper hats you get in crackers.
Missing Rory ’defo got a Christmas jumper’ Patterson, Jerome Wright and young Adam Turner, the reds were a bit makeshift.

Welcoming the wonderfully named Micha Bleau into defence alongside the old yuletide log Robert Nugent, United looked as Shaky as Stevens singing ’Merry Christmas Everyone’.
Shaky would have been a welcome addition to the play-list as the Radcliffe tannoy man had clearly been bought the Oasis back catalogue for Chrimbo.

Boro could have taken the lead after about 30 seconds. Glyn Barker broke through but scuffed his chance to open the scoring. Two more chances for the home side followed as FC failed to find their footing on the sloping surface.

Simon Carden, playing up front in the absence of Patterson, worked tirelessly to no avail. He had a couple of half chances, which were ballooned over the bar as the stand-in forward looked determined to help Radcliffe beat the ’nine balls lost’ record achieved the last time FC played at Stainton. (For the record it was six balls lost today).

The writing was on the wall when Boro hit the bar with what the pundits call a ’cross come shot’ on the half hour.
Soon after, it was a case of ’Sacre Bleau’ for Micha, as he and Nugent allowed Radcliffe to penetrate the FC defence once again as number six Craig Dawson stole in to nod in a corner expertly delivered by home captain Simon Kelly.

It was nothing the blues hadn’t deserved and half time couldn’t come quickly enough for the FC Christmas turkeys.
United came out with renewed vigour. Like they’d had the traditional 40 winks in front of the box and fancied getting straight back on it.

They toiled and battled and were 100 per cent improved on the first half showing.

Chris Baguley got a magic set for Christmas and he put his new tricks to good use in the middle of the park. He let off them smoke bomb things you used to get included with your set and left the Radcliffe midfield bedazzled.

It was apt that his freekick got United their point. A silly tackle on Baguley led to his chance to use his magic wand from the deadball. He duly delivered his own Christmas cracker as he swerved the ball into the bottom corner. His fourth strike to hit the same net at Radcliffe this season.
Baguley, and the majority of the crowd, thought they’d got a late present when it appeared that FC had stolen the game.

He struck a low bobbling effort goal-wards and keeper Sean ’Swan’ Lake spilled the ball straight into the path of FC sub James Holden. But, all thoughts of a dream debut for the youngster and a three-point boost for United, were dashed by the linesman Mr E Scrooge. The offside flag was raised inexplicably and it was back to cold turkey curry for all those present. Via the pub of course. Or Faz’s.

It was an off day, this Boxing Day, but FC fans will be buoyed by the sight of skipper Dave Chadwick and winger Josh Howard kicking balls in the warm up. It’s not all Bad Santa, and one point is better than none. With players coming back, and three wisemen at the helm, the play-off star still shines. Just.


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First Posted ~ 20:45 Wed 26 Dec 2007
News ID ~ 1386
Last Updated ~ 12:55 Mon 21 May 2018